Everyone knows the Titanic, partly from the popular film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, but mostly because it’s one of the biggest ship tragedies to date. If you look back at it today, it seemed nothing more than a boat hitting an enormous iceberg.
Since its sinking, questions still arise every now and then. What if there was something that we missed? Many find it suspicious that an “unsinkable” ship with an insurance claim would sail head-first into an iceberg field. Today, after 106 years, new evidence suggests that the tragedy might not have been simply “man vs nature.”
1. THE TITANIC
The RMS Titanic was extremely popular from day one of its construction, which is why it quickly bagged the name “Queen of the Ocean” and was often boasted to be unsinkable. It was indeed an innovation for being the first super cruise liner. In fact, many considered putting the Titanic on the list of wonders of the world.
Given its size, building the ship cost a significant portion of investment money. Another shipyard, which later turned into Hardland and Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast, had to be built just to finish construction. Soon, the shipyard became the origin of the Titanic and its sister cruiser Olympic.
2. CRUISER WARS
The cruiser company behind Titanic, White Star Line, was in the midst of a tight competition during the ship’s construction. In an attempt to rival other companies, executive and overseeing chief J. Bruce Ismay decided to explore a bigger ship size. This decision was influenced by their main competition, Cunard Line, who was making headlines for their fast-sailing ships and exceptional sea liner services.
The transoceanic cruiser wars were as intense as ever. Ismay as determined to shell out cash loans just to perfectly execute his idea of a colossal ship that would wow the public. As we know today, this plan backfired.
3. LOW BUDGET
When chief planner Thomas Andrews got assigned to the RMS Titanic, he was nothing short of excited. He gladly laid out his plans for the luxurious vessel. It was complete with 5-star services and interior. However, all these arrangements soon fell short. Ismay conveyed news of his new money management particulars.
With his company falling behind its rivals, it was evident that Ismay was trying to cut corners and tighten the budget. He wanted the ships out the water the soonest. Andrews was quick to contest, explaining that there are certain aspects that couldn’t be compromised, including steel quality and the lifeboats. Ismay simply brushed it off.
4. THE NATIONAL COAL STRIKE
When the RMS Titanic was built, it was a time of the nation’s first furious coal strike. Although it seems unrelated at first, this actually had a huge impact on the White Star Line. The said strike is now called the National Coal Strike of 1912. As a consequence, many laborers were on the hunt for jobs in the industrial sector.
What sparked the strike was the workers couldn’t agree with the amount of wages they were receiving. At the time, it wasn’t enough to pay for normal commodities like gas. This clash put additional pressure on White Star Line.
5. THE DOCUMENTARY
It was evident that the National Coal Strike of 1912 affected the cost of coal. Partnering these new prices with Ismay’s investment planning only brought the worst outcome. A 2017 documentary dedicated to the tragedy titled Titanic: The New Evidence dove into fuel deficiency as one of the main reasons behind the sinking.
Backing the ship off and speeding it up again was eating more fuel than if they were simply running at a constant speed. With the pricing and budget cuts, the documentary explained that perhaps they were going at full speed in the icy mass field. They were trying to use as little fuel as possible.
6. THE CRASH
With Ismay’s situation, budgeting fuel couldn’t have been the last of it. While the RMS Titanic looked sturdy from the outside, it was incredibly easy to crush on the inside. Its lack of secure construction was verified when its sister cruise RMS Olympic struck the Royal Navy’s HMS Hawk.
As expected, the HMS Hawk damaged the RMS Olympic with a huge opening. The steel used for the flooring and other components were substandard, but Ismay did not care. Even as the ship seemed easy to tear without effort, Ismay simply snubbed steel companies and stood by his claim that “normal” steel was enough for the ships.
7. LUXURIOUS SHIP
When the RMS Titanic was advertised as a luxurious ship meant for the rich who had no trouble with credit, the public didn’t think that even its safety would be compromised. Many saw the ship as an absolute scam. However, the cheap materials are just the start of the many problems, and the worst ones happened inside.
A photo album was found in 2017 with pictures of the Titanic before it sailed. Titanic expert Senan Molony took one good look at the photos before he said, “… the Titanic equivalent of Kung Tutankhamen’s tomb.” During his discussion with the album owner, Molony found yet another photograph that surfaced new theories.
8. THE PHOTO ALBUM
After Raffield further inspected the photo, something caught his attention. He initially brushed it off as a glare. However, a closer inspection revealed that it wasn’t a simple damage caused by the photograph’s age.
Giving credit to his expertise, Raffield decided to blow up the photo to see it clearly. He was stunned to see a 30-foot scorch mark, but he decided to go through the entire album just to be sure. Indeed, the mark was visible. It was placed where one of the boilers was supposed to be on the inside. This mark could mean that there was a fire on the inside that would have caused the damage.
9. THE GREAT FIRE OF TITANIC
A ship as enormous as the RMS Titanic would require coal bunkers huge enough to sustain power to fuel the ship and keep it running. Without these bunkers, the ship simply wouldn’t sail. According to research featured in the documentary Titanic: The New Evidence, the ship’s coal bunkers were estimated to be three stories high.
The huge space was enough to store 1.5 tons of coal that would turn into gas. While this was standard procedure, there was a fact that alarmed researchers. Something inside the ship had heated up the reserved and caused the Titanic to burn from the inside out.
10. CHILLING REPORTS
The fire doesn’t seem like a big deal at first. It could easily be put out and covered by insurance. However, the chilling fact is that the fire was not extinguished before the Titanic sailed. Photos surfaced to support this claim.
In reports that date back to 1912, the fire was merely mentioned, with no details as to how it was managed. An engine room worker named John Dilley saw the fire himself. In his report, he wrote, “There were hundreds of tons of coal stored there. We made no headway against it… we didn’t get the fire out… from the day we sailed, the Titanic was on fire.”
11.FIGHTING THE FIRE
The Titanic set on its route from Belfast to Southampton. In its travel to pick up over 2,000 passengers, the fire was still burning, inextinguishable even by the eleven men assigned to the job.
The fact that White Star Line was already behind its competitors didn’t help. The fire was kept a secret from the boarding passengers, as ordered by Ismay himself. He was careful not to scare any potential investments that could come in for his company. Whether the cruise ship was in flames or not, Ismay made it a point to push through with its voyage on April 10, 1912.
In an attempt to cover up any of the mishaps, Ismay turned to the ship’s incredibly luxurious interior and services. The huge rooms stacked with high-end equipment was meant to impress the first-class passengers from the moment they entered the Titanic.
Ismay even gave the ship a more prestigious feel by pricing the tickets rather high. It would possibly take an average person countless cash loans just to purchase a first-class ticket for $2,560. In today’s currency, that’s almost equal to $61,000 USD. In return, passengers enjoyed a three-bedroom room with two wardrobe rooms, a bath, and even a drawing-room.
13. THE FOOD MENU
Among the many luxurious services that the Titanic boasted was its expensive food menu. It was split into two parts – the lunch menu and the dinner menu. The guests were served nothing less than delicacies that you would typically only find in a fine dining restaurant.
Back in 2012, the original menu was even sold at an auction for a huge sum amounting to $160,450. The fire hiding in the ship’s bunkers was covered by a ten-course meal, complete with dishes like oysters, salmon, chicken, lamb, duckling, squab, and beef. One could not imagine how much electricity was needed to serve all these fancy food. The wealthy people aboard the Titanic were busy eating as the fire slowly worsened from beneath.
14. RISING TEMPERATURES
We all know today that the Titanic tragedy was caused by none other than an iceberg. While it seems that this has nothing to do with the ongoing fire, the ship’s journey met a couple more problems along the way.
Many raised their eyebrows when the first investigation on the event was released, including Senan Molony. The skeptic was curious enough to contact coal fire specialist Guillermo Rein for expert insight on the extent of fire damage. For someone to notice the fire, the coal must have been up in flames. However, Rein’s opinion might be enough to call back the Attorney that worked on the Titanic case.
15. SPREADING FIRE
According to Guillermo, a few days weren’t enough to spot fire from coal, unlike when something is heated with gas. It’s possible that it had started prior to leaving Southampton. When coal heats up, it spreads throughout before it begins to smoke. It could have been in flames for weeks before anyone noticed.
One of the scariest things to consider in this scenario is that fire from coal is almost impossible to extinguish. With a huge pile like that in the Titanic’s bunkers, the temperatures beneath the ship could have reached a striking 1,000 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is enough to heat metal or steel.
16. HELL ON TITANIC
Imagining the scenario gets worse if you start to look at the ship’s layout. Besides the burning coal was a bulkhead, a water-tight room that would fill up with water in case of a breach. It’s what everyone considers the “safety room.”
With its elegant-made roofing, flooring, and walling, the heat of the bunker could have weakened the room. The bulkhead beside the bunker was the last to protect it, and if it did collapse because of the high temperature, the water would simply flow. At this point, there is nothing left to do. Soon, the ship lost its power, and disaster was waiting for the Titanic.
17. BRAVE WORKERS
The burning fire was kept a secret from the passengers, thanks to Ismay’s loyal workers. Fully aware of what was happening, they found a way to slow down the fire and keep it under control as the ship went on its route. They had even tried to repair the growing damage from the flames.
However, the fire was almost at its worst when it hit the bulkhead. It didn’t take long for the rising temperature to cause a hole between the bulkhead and the bunker. Even without the security of insurance, the laborers worked extremely hard to patch the damage.
18. BURNING THROUGH COAL
By now, we all know that the Titanic had less gas than it needed to sail at a safe speed. And with the situation at hand, the workers did what seemed like the only option to get rid of the coal – by shoveling it into the furnaces.
With the budget cuts, Ismay had implemented, the Titanic was traveling on fumes. The workers were throwing in as much burning coal as they could to reach full speed. Their main priority then was simply to remove the cause of the fire. As they were working their way through the piles of burning coal, they were traveling at full speed into an iceberg field.
19. IGNORING THE WARNINGS
By the time the Titanic was sailing into the iceberg field, Captain Edward John Smith was sent countless serious warnings. They had two options – to keep sailing or to stop. While it seems like the second option was the most logical, there was more to it than a simple decision.
According to talks, Smith was forced to sail at full speed against his instincts. He was stuck between getting stranded in the middle of the ocean and going full steam ahead hoping that nothing bad would happen. Because the company’s credit reports showed that they couldn’t afford another embarrassment, the Titanic kept sailing.
20. THE UNSINKABLE SINKS
April 14, 1912, became a day we couldn’t forget. Lawyers of the victims haunted Ismay endlessly. When the Titanic hit an iceberg, it took two hours and 40 minutes for it to sink. Out of the 2,200 passengers, only 706 made it out alive.
Three hours seems ample time to rescue every single person, but the fire had made things worse. The iceberg scraped along the hole and caused the ship to open even wider. Soon, the water was entering quickly. Even with the water compartments, it was simply impossible for the ship to hold out enough for everyone to get on rescue boats.
21. PATCH IT UP
The workers that patched up the water compartment beside the bunker tried their best to make it as sturdy as possible. Sadly, the fire had weakened the steel too much for it to even hold for a reasonable duration. It could even be compared to putting a band-aid on a broken leg.
If the Titanic hadn’t hit the iceberg or if White Star Line wasn’t on the verge of bankruptcy, the quick fix would have sufficed. However, the pressure from the water caused the room to collapse. The water started to enter the ship, sinking the engine room quicker than anyone could have expected.
22. GIVING WAY
Molony spent years looking back at the tragedy and doing research. According to him, there would have been enough time to save the passengers if the last bulkhead pulled through. The ship would have sunk twice as slower. With a few more hours to spare, RMS Carpathia would have been there for a rescue mission.
It’s chilling to think that more than a thousand people could have been alive after the incident if this were the case. After the tragedy, headlines and insurance companies only focused on the Titanic, and many wondered how the biggest ship ever built sank. As expected, J. Bruce Ismay himself was one of the survivors.
23. DISTRESS SIGNAL
When Ismay got back safely, his first concern was to make sure that the truth about the fire was kept a secret. He was anticipating investigations to take place as soon as the rescue boats hit land. Even after the tragedy, Ismay wanted to keep White Star Line’s name as clean as possible, perhaps for its insurance claim.
To make sure that nothing came out to the public, Ismay patiently telegrammed each and every one of the firemen that worked on the Titanic. His instructions to them were to go inland and disappear. At the trial, Ismay simply claimed that the workers died from the sinking.
24. LORD MERSEY
While the case was ongoing, evidence of the fire surfaced. However, John Charles Bigham, the assigned high court judge, simply brushed it off as irrelevant. Court reports described him to be in a hurry to close the investigation.
After some time, more evidence rose that gave out more details of the incident. Out of the 160 firemen who were to embark on the ship, only 8 were present. The burning coal made the workers decide to leave even before the Titanic’s voyage. To a certain degree, this seemed like hard evidence to everyone in the court. To Lord Mersey, this meant nothing.
25. THE RULING
When Lord Mersey released his verdict, the public was surprised. He concluded that the Titanic sank because of an accident caused by excessive speed and collision with an iceberg. The investigation was subsequently closed, and this simple narrative is what we know happened up until today.
The photo album deserves credit for reviving the curiosity of many researchers. When Molony looked at the reports on the fire and lack of budget, he asked a question that was in the minds of those present in the court in 1912. What motivated Lord Mersey to leave out such striking pieces of evidence?
26. WHAT HAPPENED AFTER?
Even after he insisted on sailing despite knowing the risks and the complications on the ship, Ismay walked free except for a few claims of damages. The verdict that the tragedy was purely accidental sparked outraged among the surviving passengers. Almost everyone called their lawyer and filed lawsuits, asking for compensation for their loss of property.
Along with the ship sunk the passenger’s precious belongings. The rich and powerful people on-board the Titanic had many to lose. Charlotte Drake Cardeza lost an extremely expensive wardrobe amounting to $4.2 million today. At least, even through debts and claims, White Star Line was being held accountable.
27. THE FULL COST
In a desperate attempt to avoid bankruptcy, J. Bruce Ismay set aside the lives of over 2,000 people. He willingly ignored the complications. Even with children on board, Ismay was simply blinded by how large White Star Line could grow after the Titanic’s sail.
It was a dead-end from the beginning. With so many compromises made just to accommodate the company’s lack of budget, the tragedy was an unavoidable result. The complications had piled up even before the ship left the dock – including using subpar steel, sailing with an inadequate amount of fuel, ignoring a dangerous fire, and not having enough lifeboats.
28. THE CRASH IGNORED
After the RMS Olympic and HMS Hawk collided, White Star Line promised improvement for the Titanic. Everyone else was comforted by the claim that the ship was going to be safer than its sister supercruise.
In the end, it was a risk that the White Star Line decided to take for the sake of profit and credit. It seemed that at the time, it did not matter that the lives of thousands of innocent people were at stake. Historians are now back trying to piece together evidence to back up the claim that the fire was the major cause of the sinking.
29. NEW LAWS
If there’s anything good that came from the chilling tragedy, it’s that stricter laws are in place to ensure the safety of every passenger. Wise investment planning is required. Ice patrols are now enforced in the North Atlantic. Updates are frequently sent on the current state about the icebergs.
Although the Titanic used Morse code to signal its sinking, it did little to no help. New laws are now enforced that require each ship to have a radio strictly monitored by the crew. Two years after the incident, the global standard for every ship called the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea was formed. In 1915, the rule of lifeboats was enforced.
30. A HEAVY PRICE TO PAY
The Titanic sinking was one of the most devastating tragedies to date. Up until today, we mourn for the lives of the thousands of victims. Among the 1,000 people who failed to make it back were immigrants on the way to the United States, who were seeking to find better opportunities.
New evidence is constantly resurfacing to shed light on what truly happened on April 12, 1912. Yet, even as we find answers, all we can do is use the past as a lesson. Human life should always be placed on higher importance, even when investment money or reputation is on the line.
31. THE BACKSTORY
In order to truly appreciate the story of RMS Titanic, it’s helpful to go back to the very beginning. The word “Titanic” is from Greek Mythology, which means “gigantic” in English. With over 2,000 passengers, the cruise was set to sail on April 10, 1912.
Since the start of construction, the $7,5000,000 ship was well-publicized. Everyone was excited to see the largest ship in the world. Apart from its size, White Star Line also boasted innovative features, luxurious interior, and a world-class experience. The popularity of the RMS Titanic gained the attention of almost every person in town, especially those who own insurance companies.
32. THE LUXURIOUS SHIP
When we hear the word “Titanic,” the scene that instantly enters our mind is the collision between the ship and the iceberg. No one expected the famous vessel to sink four days into its voyage. But aside from tragedy, what was the Titanic experience like?
The Titanic was only for the rich and privileged with impressive credit scores. Anyone who rode first class enjoyed the most luxurious part of the ship. For those who weren’t so lucky, like people who belonged in the third class, it was a nightmare. Passengers were divided into the 325 first-class, 284 second-class, and the 709 third-class.
33. THE FAMOUS BAND
The band that played for the passengers of Titanic became increasingly popular after the tragedy, with credit given to a photo that was retrieved during the investigation. Even as the ship was sinking, the band played on, filling the vessel with music. As the men played together, none of them knew that it would be their last song.
Consisting of eight members, the band decided together to keep playing for the passengers. They wanted to comfort the passengers as much as they could. It was their leader, Wallace Hartley, who first said that he would stay. The other members followed suit.
34. THE GRAND STAIRCASE
The Titanic movie did an incredible job in replicating the actual staircase that connected multiple decks in the ship. It was one of the most beautiful features of the RMS Titanic, and anyone would swipe tons of credit cards just to marvel at it.
Although it seemed from the movie that everyone was welcome to climb the stairs, it was actually open only to those in first class. All the other passengers only got a glimpse of its beauty. Much importance was given to the staircase, as the builders intended it to be the “pièce de resistance” of the Titanic.
35. THE GYM
When you think of a cruise ship, you would imagine fancy dining halls and lively dance floors. The RMS Titanic had all that, and surprisingly, a gym. Like any other room in the ship, the gym was luxurious and held only the best fitness technology during its time. Equipment like camels and cycling machines powered by electricity were readily available only for the first class.
The gym also had to visit schedules depending on gender – it was open from 9 am to 12 pm for the ladies, and 2 pm to 6 pm for the gentlemen. It was an uncommon feature, but one greatly enjoyed, nonetheless.
36. PLAYING GAMES
White Star Line expected children to board the luxurious ship, and they gladly accommodated this by including features that were for their leisure. Among the 2,000 passengers were 126 children. Sadly, almost half did not survive, the majority of which belonged to the second and third class.
There was plenty of space in the RMS Titanic for children to roam around and enjoy themselves. In fact, even the gym was open for the young ones from 1 pm to 3 pm. Such attention to every type of passenger made it seem like White Star Line wasn’t fearing bankruptcy at all.
37. FIRST-CLASS LOUNGE
Every part of the Titanic was filled with breath-taking décor, but there was one room designed in a way that separates it from the rest of the vessel. The first-class lounge, located in Deck A, was meant for influential people to smoke and interact with each other. Of course, others also chose to spend their lunches and leisure time here. For the business-minded individuals, the first-class lounge was the perfect meeting room.
The design details of the lounge made it look like it wouldn’t ever need a roof repair. The price for enjoying the Palace of Versailles-inspired luxury was at $1700.
38. TWO BARBER SHOPS
Anyone aboard the Titanic wouldn’t run out of things to do. White Star Line made sure of this. This could be why they also included two barbershops inside the RMS Titanic. One was for the first-class passengers, and the other was for the second-class people. None was made for those in third-class.
The investment planning for the ship’s interior features must have truly taken some time, with everything specified down to the last detail. The barbershops were designed in resemblance to the souvenir shops of today. In addition to haircuts, the shops sold dolls, hats, ribbons, and trinkets.
39. CAFÉ PARISIEN
No luxury ship worth the payday loans would be complete without an outdoor café. For the RMS Titanic, it was the Café Parisien. Passengers who wanted a breath of fresh air could sit down at the outdoor tables and enjoy conversations with peers. The café was the first ever to be built on an ocean liner. You could only imagine how popular this got among the younger passengers in first-class.
If you were looking for something a little heavier, you could still go to the café as it doubled as a restaurant. Its menu featured only the most exquisite dishes, like oysters, salmon, and vanilla êclairs.
40. THE FIRST-CLASS CABINS
The sleeping quarters in the RMS Titanic were no less than picture-perfect too. It didn’t fall behind the luxurious lounges, gyms, and restaurants. Anyone who could have the chance to sleep in such a glamorous room would be insane to refuse.
The first-class sleeping quarters were indeed well-made. If these were subject to mortgage rates, it would have been extremely expensive. Some even had their own private deck. The rooms featured in the Titanic movie were ultra-private rooms. Every first-class cabin was situated on the B deck. Sadly, this area was where most passengers stayed while the ship was sinking.
41. THE SECOND-CLASS CABINS
As expected, the second-class cabins weren’t as luxurious as the first-class rooms. However, they were still worth a ton of investment money. Each room was complete with bed bunks, a bathroom, and a seating area. White Star Line also anticipated some first-class passengers to run out of rooms, so some second-class cabins were a bit more luxurious.
Second-class cabins were placed in C or E decks. However, like the first-class passengers, having beautiful rooms did nothing to help them survive the tragedy. By the time the RMS Titanic was sinking, people were left to die, both second and third class.
42. THE THIRD-CLASS CABINS
It seems that all of the planning and money management went straight to accommodate the first and second-class passengers. The experience for those in the third-class wasn’t as luxurious, if not extremely uncomfortable. Each room, which barely had any space, was maximized to hold four beds. These cabins were placed in the lowest decks and were the first to fill with water after the collision with the iceberg.
The tragedy took place in the early hours. Almost everyone, including the workers, was fast asleep. When they opened their eyes to deep water inside their cabins, they had little to no time to save themselves.
43. THE THIRD-CLASS LOUNGE
“Lounge” is too fancy a name to call the third-class passengers’ leisure room. Instead of a luxurious dining hall with spaces for socializing, they got a cafeteria that looked straight out of a prison. To compensate, they were provided with high-class silverware to dine with. To these passengers, the luxurious silverware was the highlight of the whole trip.
It was obvious that White Star Line cared little about the passengers whose credit reports were not as great as the rich and famous. The meals they served were easy and quick-to-make dishes, such as porridge, vegetable stew, baked potatoes, and very rarely, roast beef.
44. THE SECOND-CLASS LOUNGE
The second-class lounge was almost as lavish as the first-class lounge. With interiors inspired by the Palace of Versailles, the room was complete with upholstered chairs that were fit for the rich. You would easily confuse one for the other. However, the designer did leave out some details that were exclusive to the first-class lounge.
The moving company must have had no problem bringing in furniture, as the second-class lounge closely resembled the other. Passengers stayed to socialize and network with people who were just as influential. Many third-class people even made extra effort to get in but were unsuccessful.
45. THE BOILER ROOMS
The workers weren’t enjoying the dancing and the unique menu. They were in the boiler rooms to keep the ship moving. The 179 employees of the RMS Titanic worked almost 24 hours a day to burn 600 tonnes of coal. With their hard work, they provided the vessel with 29 boilers.
The labor of these workers was well-compensated. They no longer felt the need to take out multiple payday loans to get by. Sadly, with the situation they were in and the placement of their work areas, none of them made it out alive. The workers were the first to go underwater.
46. THE SALESWOMEN
When word broke out that the RMS Titanic was a cruise for the rich who had no trouble with money management, businessmen and women were excited to climb aboard. Even with ticket prices exceedingly high, they knew it wouldn’t take long before they doubled their profits. The first-class passengers were easy to sway with impulse purchases, especially when they were busy dancing and enjoying.
The Titanic had no rules on selling inside the cruise ship. The business people had no trouble going around offering their products. Sadly, the trip brought a bigger loss than they ever would have gotten on land.
47. THE DECKS
For passengers who wanted to get some fresh air, there were four decks they could go to. Decks from A to D were above water and were maintained every single day. Whether it was first-class or third-class people going up, the crew of RMS Titanic made it a point to keep the area in pristine condition.
Anyone was free to enjoy the spaces on the decks. However, it was for the first-class passengers that the workers kept it clean and tidy. Even the slightest detail didn’t go unnoticed. For third-class passengers, it was like paying for a very expensive monthly mortgage with too tiny space to enjoy.
48. LUGGAGE SERVICE
Staying on a luxury cruise ship meant preparing the most glamorous pieces of clothing for each day onboard. It’s no surprise that the passengers carried heavy and full luggage for their trip on the RMS Titanic. White Star Line wanted to make the experience as hassle-free as possible, and so they introduced a luggage transport service.
A second ship was tasked to transport luggage onboard the Titanic. Back then, passengers would simply bring their own bags. The RMS Titanic was the first to offer the transport service. Sadly, luggage doesn’t commonly have insurance. These belongings soon sank along with the ship.
49. THE PROPELLERS
A vessel as large as the RMS Titanic needed gigantic propellers to maneuver properly. In total, there were three – one in the center, two on the sides. They were the largest ever built, even larger than what we commonly see today. The propellers were 23 feet long and weigh about 38 tonnes each.
The gas needed to get the propellers running was extremely expensive because they needed quite a lot. In some photos, you’ll see people standing beside the huge propellers. With a single glance, it would be hard to believe that a ship that boasted such large parts would sink almost immediately.
50. THE PROPELLERS DEFY TIME
More than 100 years after the Titanic sank, an actual search for its wreck was finally begun, a feat that old limited technology used to hinder. When the sunken ship was located by the American-French expedition team aboard the Knorr, a U.S. Navy research ship, items from the Titanic were subsequently found. This included the ship’s propellers which surprisingly maintained its top form despite the length of time it remained submerged 13,000 feet under the Atlantic Ocean.
We can safely assume that the brains behind the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic, more commonly referred to as the Titanic, put a big amount of investment money in purchasing the luxury vessel’s propellers.
51. THE READING ROOM
Part of the lavish provisions of the Titanic were a writing room and a reading room which were intended for the first-class women passengers. Builders of the star-crossed ship expected the ladies to lounge in those rooms after dinner, so its designer incorporated a feminine touch by adding pink curtains and womanly designs.
However, the designer realized from the ship’s maiden voyage that the rooms were unused and did not prove to be good for money management as he observed that women chose to stay in the dining area to chit chat with each other even after the men left.
52. THE BOAT DECK
If you watched Titanic, the worldwide hit movie titled after the tragedy-stricken ship, you may recall the famous part where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jack Dawson shouted “I’m the king of the world” on the ship’s top deck. That deck was where lifeboats were kept, thus also called the “boat deck”. It was divided into four sections allocated for first-class passengers, second-class passengers, engineers, and officers, respectively, so they can enjoy the view while enroute.
So, in reality, Jack wouldn’t have been able to do the popular scene because third-class passengers like himself, and those who rely heavily on cash loans, were not granted access to the boat deck.
53. THE INDOOR SWIMMING POOL
One interesting uniqueness of the Titanic ship is the presence of a swimming pool which was part of the gym and a Turkish bath complex. Obviously, the complex was enjoyed exclusively by first-class passengers who most likely had an insurance policy. They could go for a relaxing swim in the saltwater pool that was located inside the waterproof room known as the last to be filled with water when the ship sank.
The heightened fascination of people about Titanic and its unexpected unfortunate fate led to several studies, analyses, a movie, and articles giving several interpretations and re-enactments of its first and only voyage, making it a classic icon.
54. TEATIME OR LIQUOR?
The room depicted in the Titanic movie as the spot where wedding plans for Rose DeWitt Bukater, played by Kate Winslet, and her wealthy fiancé Caledon Hockley, portrayed by Billy Zane, were being discussed was actually considered a haven for alcohol lovers as it served liquors and other beverages including tea, chocolates, and fruit juices from as early as 8 in the morning every day. It also served buttered toast and light sandwiches that sustain passengers until dinnertime.
During their stay in the said room, passengers talk about anything such as business, property, mortgage rates, and investments.
55. EVERY STAIRCASE DECORATED
Proof of the ship’s grandeur were the impressive staircases, especially the Grand Staircase which look like they came straight from a palace. Even the simplest staircases leading to the third-class passengers’ cabin were laid with nice green carpet, making the least privileged passengers feel special, as if they too enjoyed high credit score and were capable of making numerous investments.
But certain parts of the British luxury vessel did not have any decoration and were left to its bare minimum. These were the working stations visited only by crew and staff, such as the boiler rooms which contain only barren steel.
56. THE MASSIVE CROSS BEAM
Construction of the ambitious seacraft nicknamed “Millionaire’s Special” which was aptly captained by the esteemed “Millionaire’s Captain”, Edward j. Smith, started on March 31, 1909 in a large, specially made gantry at a Belfast shipyard. Manned by around 3,000 people working days and nights, it took only twenty-six months to build the ship that is now part of history.
Titanic’s backbone was composed of massive, thick metal braces holding the ship together. The size of these metal beams made the ship seem unbreakable, and insurance policies unnecessary. Too bad, even its perceived strength failed to prevent the ship from cracking, which allowed water to come in and fill the ship until it sank.
57. THE RADIO STATION
For all its glitz and glamour, it’s quite surprising that there was only one person operating the radio room for the whole duration of the voyage. The young operator worked during the days and was only allowed to rest in the evenings, which served as his time-off. So, when the Titanic hit an iceberg at 11:40 pm on April 14, 1912, the operator was resting. But he immediately woke up and sent out distress signals incessantly up to his last breath.
People credit his remarkable efforts that paved the way to save many lives as other seafarers heeded his distress signals. After some years, laws were created requiring radio rooms to be manned by more than one person working in shifts.
58. THE TITANIC’S CAPTAIN
Known as the “Millionaire’s Captain”, Edward John Smith was popular among wealthy passengers. It has been reported that several prominent people were aboard the tragic Titanic’s maiden voyage, possibly sending insurance companies in a frenzy when news of its sinking broke out.
With his extensive experience as a captain on several of White Star Line ships, Smith felt honored for being chosen as Titanic’s captain. When the ship struck an iceberg, Smith was already asleep, but he immediately stood in command upon learning the incident and instructed his team to save as many lives as they could. In the end, it has never been confirmed if Smith drowned or killed himself.
Given the scarcity of available lifeboats at only 20 in total count, Titanic’s passengers couldn’t have all been saved even if each lifeboat left in full capacity. But matters were made worse when the lifeboats carried only half of its capacity, leaving behind more fatalities. It also did not help that the scheduled training for the ship’s crew did not push through for some reason.
Some historians say that the training cancellation was due to the management’s overconfidence as they boasted that Titanic was unsinkable and that the faulty lifeboat launcher being operated by improperly trained ship crew was destined to fail at a high degree.
60. LIFEBOAT FILLED WITH SURVIVORS
It was around 11:45 p.m. when the first lifeboat was released, while the last was at 2:15 a.m. There were only 20 lifeboats available in the RMS Titanic, and what made it worse was the incredibly slow release of each boat. It took the first lifeboat over 4 hours to reach RMS Carpathia, but it wasn’t until 8:30 a.m. that the crew managed to rescue everyone who made it out alive.
During the tragedy, priority was given to women and children. They had squeezed in as many people as they could on a single lifeboat to maximize the little investments they made on emergency equipment.
61. TRYING TO WARM UP
The surviving passengers struggled to warm up after riding an open boat in the middle of the night. Many stayed on top of the deck on RMS Carpathia, which was heading eastward from New York. The survivors were indeed lucky. If the radio operator hadn’t intercepted their distress signal and if the ship didn’t have enough gas to make a detour, RMS Carpathia wouldn’t have been able to launch a rescue mission.
Two hours later, the ship made it to the spot where the Titanic sank. Over 700 people were saved before the ship went back on its route to New York.
62. RECEIVING GREAT HONORS
The crew of RMS Carpathia deserved credit for acting so quickly on the emergency. When they got back on land, the captain and crew were honored with a silver cup. The token was handed over by one of the survivors as a sign of thanking them for everything they did to save the passengers.
Captain Roston was even honored with the Congressional Gold Medal by the president. The much-coveted honor was the highest anyone can receive. Many extended their gratitude, from the watching public to the families of the survivors. Without the efforts of the RMS Carpathia crew, no one might have survived the tragic incident.
63. BRING BACK THE LIFEBOATS
Every part of the RMS Titanic sunk to the bottom of the ocean. The only thing that made it back were the thirteen lifeboats that sailed back to land with the RMS Carpathia. The crew decided to bring them back to White Star Line.
When they got back to New York, none of the lifeboats were at the port. They were stolen by treasure hunters as soon as news about the tragedy broke out. Up until today, none of the lifeboats have been located. Some theories say that they were reused by White Star Line, or people were paid cash loans to quietly destroy the lifeboats.
64. RAISING FUNDS FOR THE SURVIVORS
Only the rich and famous could have climbed up the Titanic. Yet, after the tragedy, the whole world sympathized with the victims and the survivors. It didn’t take long before the news spread across the globe, and it was the only thing anyone talked about.
Some individuals, like Boy Scout troupes in Stratford, went out of their way to help out. They spearheaded many projects to raise funds for the Titanic survivors. Soon, everyone was joining their fund-raising efforts. As for the White Star Line, the company set up a relief fund to give back to the victims’ families with monetary compensation in the form of investment money.
65. REFUGE IN NEW YORK CITY
No one tended to the survivors when they got back on land. It was as if getting back on land was as bad as being helpless in the middle of the ocean. Their arrival in New York City would have been disastrous if it weren’t for some family members in the city who were willing to help out. The others who were left alone simply had to wait for financial aid.
The survivors worked their way around what was given to them. They made makeshift shelters and enjoyed each other’s company until they received compensation. Thankfully, New Yorkers were willing to provide them a home with electricity to stay in.
66. MAKING MONEY OFF A TRAGEDY
Some people simply saw the tragedy as a shining business opportunity. Memorabilia, figurines, postcards, and newspaper pieces about the Titanic accident were offered on in markets and street shops for quite a heavy price. In fact, photos of customers buying these “souvenirs” surfaced soon, too.
At the time, making a business out of such a devastating event was insulting, to say the least. However, it did pay off in the end. The memorabilia sold during that time is in high demand even decades after the accident. Some collectors are willing to take out payday loans just to own a piece.
67. RETURN TO BRITAIN
After the RMS Carpathia’s return, men, women, and children waited at the gates of the Belfast shipyard for RMS Lapland. The vessel was bringing 172 survivors back home. The historic place was where the Titanic was built, so you can imagine how many people gathered just to catch a glimpse of the ship.
While there was indeed a huge number of people who dropped by, it suffered by far compared to the crowds in New York. The return of RMS Carpathia and the Titanic survivors was greeted by hundreds and thousands of people, probably except for the insurance companies who were all terrified to shoulder the damages.
68. THE INQUIRY COMMITTEE
Everyone was eager to punish those responsible for the tragic incident. Public outcry pressured officials to work their hardest on the investigation. Many wondered how the Titanic – a ship that was supposed to be unsinkable – could have met such a disastrous end. White Star Line anticipated the anger and formed their inquiry committee even before the first batch of survivors made it back to New York.
To a certain degree, the inquiry committee admitted that the crew was negligent in listening to the warnings. They ignored the risks of sailing on the iceberg field despite the fact that were inadequate lifeboats on the ship.
69. WAITING OUTSIDE THE COURTHOUSE
The crew members and survivors were determined to get compensation for the tragedy. Aside from the emotional distress, the Titanic accident affected them and their families to a great extent. During the investigation, these victims waited patiently outside the courthouse.
White Star Line’s investment planning team must have had a hard time realigning their budget. The court decided that the company needed to pay out around $664,000. Each of the survivors received around $950, which is $22,000 in today’s currency. It seems a lot, however, it doesn’t compare to what the victims had to go through because of White Star Line’s negligence.
70. THE CHILDREN OF THE TITANIC
Probably the most heartbreaking result of the Titanic tragedy is the number of fatalities among innocent children. Even though women and children were given priority in boarding the lifeboats, some children were not able to survive. For most parents, burying their dead children is far worse than facing bankruptcy.
Two of the known survivors in the Titanic sinking were brothers Michel and Edmond Navratil, who went on the trip with their father while their mother stayed on land. It was a set-up that must have been sad at first but proved to be a blessing in disguise when the boys’ father died while keeping them afloat. Two weeks after the incident, the Navratil brothers were safely reunited with their mom.
71. DISCOVERING THE RMS TITANIC WRECK
Robert Ballard discovered the wreck of Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic in August 1985 aboard Knorr, a US Navy research ship, when he led an American-French expedition which also aimed to test the Argo, a newly-invented submersible sled with a camera that was controlled remotely and sent video images back to Knorr from 13,000 feet under the Atlantic Ocean.
So, unlike several prior expeditions which were unsuccessful due to resource limitations, the investment money of Ballard and his team did not go to waste as they discovered the first underwater images of the wreck. Subsequently, bigger and more recognizable parts of the ship were also seen and eventually recovered.
72. HONEYMOONERS AND TITANIC
With its enticing press releases capitalizing on Titanic’s strength, size and glamour, White Star Line’s symbolic ship, dubbed as the “world’s largest liner”, attracted a multitude of passengers for its maiden voyage, including newly-weds Mr. & Mrs. George A. Harder of Brooklyn, New York. The young couple were aboard the ship on their honeymoon and were photographed by Bernie Palmer, who captured several people and activities in the ship before its devastation.
Totally unaware that the potential value of her photographs would have made her rich and was more than enough to pay for any loans that she may have back then, Palmer sold its rights to Underwood & Underwood of New York for a mere $10.
73. CONSTRUCTION OF THE TITANIC
Because of its enormous size, a huge slipway called the Great Gantry was built in order to accommodate the construction of Titanic and its sister ship, the Olympic, which were the largest ships during their time, thus no existing slipway was big enough to take them in. The Great Gantry reportedly cost around $150,000, a very sizeable amount of investment money.
Some historians said that because of the huge investments used in the construction of Titanic, White Star Line scrimped on certain ship parts, eventually causing the ship to be torn easily by an iceberg and allowing water to leak inside.
74. THE STERN AND RUDDER
The stern is the rear part of the ship and lies opposite the bow, which is the ship’s foremost part. The term has also been used to refer to the entire back part of the seacraft and lights up with a white navigation light during nighttime. To steer a moving ship, a vertical blade called a rudder, located at the stern of the ship is used.
Titanic’s rudder measured 78 feet 8 inches (23.98 m) high and 15 feet 3 inches (4.65 m) long. It weighs more than 20,000 pounds and required steering engines to set it in motion. Incidentally, the massive ship’s flooring was sturdy enough to hold such weight.
75. TITANIC AT DOCK: MOMENTS BEFORE THE MAIDEN VOYAGE
At the dock, Titanic simply could not be ignored, is the largest and grandest one among other ships. Expectedly, moving it from land to sea was extraordinarily hard and involved a complex process which took 62 seconds to complete.
A reputable moving company may tell you that 62 seconds sound like a reasonable amount of time but moving the Titanic required 23 tons of different types of lubricant, including soap, grease and even train oil, especially since its passengers were made to feel very comfortable despite the extremely hard work being rendered by the ship’s crew for that initial movement.
76. SAILING OUT OF BELFAST
Five tugboats guided the British luxury passenger ship out of the dock, leaving Belfast from that point. It nearly collided with the ship called New York, which was swayed to RMS Titanic’s path by the latter’s suction. It took an hour to maneuver the Titanic out of the accident and onto the sea, fearing to lose such a huge investment.
But in hindsight, some historians say that if the collision with New York vessel was not avoided, any delay caused by the outcome would have changed the fate of Titanic and its passengers, and history may not be as it is today.
77. RMS TITANIC: THE CREW
White-bearded Captain Edward J. Smith headed the 700 strong crew of Titanic, including a Chief Engineer, staff engineers, and several officers. An unconfirmed rumor circulated that Smith was about to retire after Titanic’s maiden voyage. It was not established if he drowned or killed himself during the accident. Nevertheless, if the great ship did not sink, Smith would have enjoyed an enviable insurance and retirement package.
Among its crew members, approximately 688 were known to be in the list of over 1,500 fatalities. Surviving members included officers Harold Lowe, Charles Lightoller, Joseph Boxhall, and Herbert Pitman. Half of the 29 able seamen also survived, along with seven quartermasters and six lookouts.
78. THE CAPTAIN OF THE TITANIC: EDWARD J. SMITH
Dubbed as the “Millionaire’s Captain” for being very famous among elite passengers, Captain Edward John Smith started working in boats during his teenage years and earned his master’s certificate in 1875. When he became a captain after seven years as a junior officer for White Star Line, he earned credits and admiration from both passengers and crew members and eventually earned the title of senior captain.
Despite these achievements, Smith felt honored when White Star Line chose as captain of their largest and most opulent vessel, the Titanic. And although he was blamed by some people for Titanic’s catastrophic end, accounts by eyewitnesses proved that the captain did everything he could in his power to try and save the ship.
79. BLAMING THE CAPTAIN
A number of survivors blamed Titanic’s Captain Edward John Smith for the tragic fate of the ship and the death of over 1,500 of its passengers. A survivor wrote a letter aboard Carpathia, one of the rescue ships, stating that Smith had been drinking before the ship struck an iceberg that caused its sinking. The letter was put on auction and sold in 2012 at an amount that must have saved the seller from bankruptcy.
But the captain was absolved, though posthumously when several investigations proved that he was not at fault, as he immediately took command of the ship and instructed a maneuver that was common practice back in the days.
80. THE INFAMOUS ICEBERG
The historical sinking of Titanic happened when it struck a North Atlantic iceberg with an approximate size of 50 to 100 feet tall and 200 to 400 feet long as reported by an earlier newspaper. The collision occurred at 11:40 PM in April 14, 1912 with the giant ship moving at a speed of 20.5 knots (23.6 MPH). Photographer Bernice Palmer was able to take a photo of the iceberg and the smaller ice floes surrounding it, which indicates the Northern location of the tragedy.
When the iceberg scraped the ship’s starboard, it sliced through its five watertight compartments, creating an opening that allowed water to leak in, a lot more devastating than a breach in one’s home security system.
81. PROMENADE DECK
Like several other passenger ships and riverboats, the RMS Titanic had a promenade deck located right under its top deck, which was allocated for use of generally all passengers who wish to stroll along the walkway and enjoy the view outside.
For wealthy passengers who chose not to mingle with others, four “Parole Suites” were available at a premium price of over $4,000 in 1912, equivalent to almost $100,000 today. It may not sound good for money management, but those cabins had their own private promenade decks measuring 50-foot, for the exclusive use of guests lodged in the expensive suite.
82. STANDARD SINGLE BED CABIN
Titanic offered 39 private suites, 30 of which were situated on the Bridge Deck while the other 9 could be found at the Shelter Deck. Each suite had up to five different rooms including two bedrooms, two wardrobe rooms and a private toilet with bath facility. These suites were luxuriously decorated in French monarchy theme such as the periodic styles of Louis XVI, Louis XV, Georgian and Queen Anne.
Aside from the private suites, Titanic also held 350 standard cabins for first-class accommodation, which had single beds and were cheaper than the private suites. Financial advisors tend to advise affluent people to choose these rooms instead of the far more expensive option.
83. CRUISING ON THE WATER
For its maiden voyage, the “Millionaire’s Ship” carried about 6,000 tons of coal. Almost 690 tons were burned each day as crew members shoveled them into boilers for continuous steam powder production during day and night; not only for mere gas but also, for electricity use.
One theory that surfaced during the investigation of Titanic’s tragic fate pointed to the fire which began in one of the ship’s coal bunkers 10 days before its voyage. Some authors believed that the constant burning may have compromised the ship’s structural integrity and worsened the impact when an iceberg collided with it. But most experts disagreed with such theory, arguing that the coal bunker fire actually helped slow down its sinking.
84. THE MARCONI COMMUNICATIONS ROOM
Marconi company provided the communication facility of RMS Titanic and a Marconi room was placed to serve as the operator’s cabin and to contain the main equipment and emergency transmitter to bridge communication via distress signals. It was noted that the SOS codes sent helped save several passengers as nearby ships came to rescue them.
As part of the investments, two Marconi employees were onboard to operate the facility during its first voyage. These were Junior Wireless Operator Harold Bride and Senior Wireless Operator Jack Phillips. Bride survived the tragedy, but Phillips was not as lucky and died due to exposure.
85. LOWERING THE LIFEBOATS
The Titanic carried 20 lifeboats which could seat 1,178 people. But despite being more than Bureau of Trade’s mandate that a ship must provide lifeboats for 1.060 people, it still was not enough to account for all the 2,208 passengers on board the Titanic.
Incidentally, due to lack of proper training, the lifeboats left with only a little more than half its capacity, further increasing the degree of fatalities. Boat 6 left with only twenty-eight people against its full capacity of 65. Among its passengers were Robert Hichens, who was put in charge of the boat, Frederick Fleet, the lookout, Margaret Brown and Ruth DeWitt Bukater, who immediately jumped on board the lifeboat.
86. SURVIVORS ON CARPATHIA
Credit goes to Cunard Line’s transatlantic passenger steamship named RMS Carpathia, which was very instrumental in saving most of Titanic’s survivors. Its commander, Captain Rostron, immediately rose up from bed upon receiving a report from wireless operator Harold Cottam that Titanic was in distress. After a very brief moment of disbelief at what seemed impossible, the thoughtful captain engaged his whole team, including those off-duty, to rescue the passengers of Titanic as fast as they could.
Carpathia reached Titanic’s position at 4 am and survivors got onboard from 4:10 am until 8:30 am. Many years later, the deeply religious captain answered reporters’ inquiries about his heroism saying, “A hand other than mine was on the wheel that night.”
87. PASSENGERS FLEEING ON LIFEBOATS
Women and children were given first priority in boarding the lifeboats. But because the scheduled training for crew members was canceled, the lifeboats were filled way below capacity as the crew got worried that the boats might not be able to support its full capacity. Most were launched with only half its allowed headcount, and one even sailed away with only 12 passengers.
Based on the circumstances surrounding the sinking of RMS Titanic, Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) had been modified and part of the improvements was requiring every seacraft to have sufficient lifeboat to rescue all passengers and crew members. Any human rights lawyer would advocate such a provision.
88. PASSENGERS BEING RESCUED BY CARPATHIA
Carpathia, the passenger ship built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson in Newcastle England, had been transporting passengers since 1903. Coincidentally, it was also out on voyage when the ship’s wireless operator received distress signals from the Titanic and reported it to their commander, Captain Arthur H. Rostron, who immediately instructed his team to launch a rescue.
Like the thoroughness of a moving company but limited in size and resources, Carpathia was able to rescue 700 people out of the 2,500 passengers of Titanic. Its crew members and officers did everything to make the rescued individuals feel comfortable but found it impossible to console women who lost their loved ones.
89. SPARSELY FILLED LIFEBOAT
Investigators of the tragic cruise surmised that, had the lifeboats been sufficiently filled and proper training been given to its crew members, survivors of the Titanic would have doubled in number. Photos of the lifeboats floating on sea for almost two hours while waiting to be rescued showed that there were plenty of flooring space to accommodate additional passengers.
The freezing temperature outside was endured by those survivors before they were transferred to the Carpathia, where they were given blankets and hot drinks to warm them up until the rescue ship reached New York and brought the passengers to safety.
90. LIFEBOATS AT PIER 54
The Titanic was expected to dock in New York, at the White Star Line-owned Pier 59, which was the planned final destination of the star-crossed ship’s maiden voyage. After the tragedy, the surviving passengers indeed stopped by Pier 59 but only to drop off Titanic’s lifeboats. It then continued to travel southwards and docked at Pier 54, which was a Cunard Line Pier, a few blocks away from its supposed disembarkation point.
As the Carpathia docked at Cunard’s Pier 54, a large crowd was waiting for their arrival and were anticipating news about their family or loved ones who joined the cruise, as well as insurance companies checking on their policyholders.
91. ICEBERG CLOSE UP
A series of investigations by different governments and attorneys took place after the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank at the North Atlantic. Many stories have been told about the ill-fated ship and were passed on to generations, even decades after it sank. But nobody really paid as much attention to the iceberg that became the center of blame for so many untimely deaths.
A photo was taken by SS Prinz Adalbert, chief steward of the German ocean liner, of an iceberg in North Atlantic showing streaks of red paint that suggest a very recent collision. The photo was taken on April 15, as Adalbert was sailing through the path and was not yet aware of Titanic’s sinking.
92. THE GRAND STAIRCASE AFTER THE ACCIDENT
The grand staircase at the first-class section of the RMS Titanic was among the prominent features of the giant ship. It was built purely from wood over a period of three years by Belfast’s Harland & Wolf. The masterfully crafted staircase depicted the glamor that was associated with White Star Line’s most luxurious seacraft and became a historical icon when it was immortalized in James Cameron’s Titanic movie.
After the tragedy, almost none of the grand staircase remained, wiping away traces of all investments and hard work poured into its construction. Cameron said that its replica in the movie broke off and floated, which could have been the same fate as the real staircase.
93. TITANIC’S BOILER
RMS Titanic’s six boiler rooms housed 25 double-ended boilers measuring 20 feet long, 15 feet 9 inches in diameter and 4 single-ended boilers measuring 11 feet 9 inches long and the same diameter. This sums up to 29 scotch-type boilers in all, with 3 furnaces on both ends, designed to deliver 46,000 horsepower through its multiple engines. It was not disclosed if White Star owners secured a business loan to finance its construction cost of $7.5 million (1912).
Words went around that a boiler room caught fire about ten days before the ship sank, and compromised the ship’s structural integrity, making it easily punctured when it collided with an iceberg.
94. STERN OF THE SHIP
When the ship’s wreck was discovered, its stern and bow were far apart, confirming the theory being disputed by scientists, that the ship’s hull was split into two parts prior to its sinking. Ballard’s expedition in 1985 discovered the remaining parts of Titanic’s stern and put it on record that is a subject of discussion even in today’s online classes.
How a ship believed to be unsinkable and powerful could be torn in two was a mystery to scientists, until further exploration revealed certain substandard components that weakened the supposedly majestic vessel. Some people think that Belfast contractors scrimped on several parts to cushion its high cost of construction.
95. CAPTAIN SMITH’S BATHROOM
As commander of the British luxury passenger line, Captain Smith enjoyed first-class accommodation, including luxuries provided for prime passengers. Though no photos of the captain’s quarters ever came out, it was told that Smith had three rooms and a sitting room with a table and comfortable chairs, where Smith could hold small meetings with one or two of his crew.
The captain’s quarter was believed to be pleasant and cozy, with relaxing walls and flooring. He was also provided with wardrobes and a private bathroom. The bathtub from his bathroom was found among the ship’s wreck, still intact and undamaged.
96. THE “GREAT GANTRY” AT THE SHIPYARD
With its gigantic size, existing slipways could not accommodate the construction of RMS Titanic. So, White Star Line’s exclusive shipbuilders, Edward James Harland and Gustav Wilhelm Wolff of the Harland & Wolff shipyard of Belfast, Ireland had to put in some investment money to build a sophisticated shipyard known as the Arrol Gantry or Great Gantry.
The Gantry was 6,000 tons heavy and measured 840 feet long, 270 feet wide and 228 feet high. It had three rows of eleven towers, four electric lifts, and a central revolving crane. The slipway was used until the 1960s during which time, it was demolished.
97. AN ANCHOR
The RMS Titanic had three anchors weighing approximately 10 pounds. A total of 603 meters of the chain was ordered by Titanic’s owners from Hingley’s Anchor Works. The steel was heated extremely until it turned hot enough to mold into an anchor.
It was reported that a wagon drawn by 20 Shire horses served as a moving company and pulled the heavy anchors commissioned for the giant ship from Netherton, where it was made, to Dudley Railway Station, in preparation for its travel to Belfast. When the ship’s wreckage was discovered many years later, one of the anchors was found inside its compartment.
98. WHO WAS THE REAL JACK DAWSON?
The fictional romance between Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater became a worldwide sensation and touched the hearts of moviegoers globally. The actors who played their characters, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, were critically acclaimed and reached the peak of fame for their performance in the record-breaking film. Canadian filmmaker James Cameron, who directed the film Titanic did right to leverage his investments on people’s penchant for a forbidden love.
People were curious to know if such a love affair actually took place in real life. Based on earlier interviews made by Italian reporters, it was believed that the love story was inspired by the affection held by Italian stonemason named Emilio Portaluppi for Madeleine Astor.
99. WHO WAS THE REAL ROSE?
So, who was Madeleine Talmage Astor? The woman believed to be the inspiration for Rose’s character was an American socialite who became the second wife to wealthy businessman John Jacob Astor IV. It has never been confirmed if Madeleine and Emilio had an affair, or if they ever saw each other after the tragedy.
Through the help of a lawyer, Madeleine inherited her husband’s trust fund amounting to $5 million, as well as his properties on Fifth Avenue and at the Newport, after the mogul died. Her inheritance came with a condition that she will not remarry. So, when she fell in love with William K. Dick some years later, Madeleine relinquished her claim to her husband’s fortune and married Dick.
100. JOHN JACOB ASTOR IV
If Emilio Portaluppi was the real-life “Jack” and Madeleine Astor was behind the character of “Rose”, then actor Billy Zane’s role as the self-centered millionaire Caledon Hockley must have been in reference to Madeleine’s husband, John Jacob Astor IV, who was one of the richest people on earth during the early 1900s. He was reportedly the wealthiest man to die in the tragic incident.
The married couple joined Titanic’s maiden voyage due to the wish of then-pregnant Madeleine to give birth in the US. Upon his death, Astor left his wife a sizeable fortune that made bankruptcy an impossibility for Madeleine.
101. TITANIC DISASTER APPEARS IN NEWSPAPER
Newspapers quickly caught and reported the tragic incident and published several stories about the RMS Titanic, mentioning how ironic for the “unsinkable ship” to be submerged in the vast North Atlantic Ocean. Its passengers, many of whom belonged to the elite group of society, were named and accounted for, whether as survivors or fatalities.
Among the shocked followers of the news feeds were families of the passengers, friends, and partners of prominent personalities onboard, and employees of insurance companies who needed to find out if they have clients included in the 1,500 to 1,800 fatalities of the ill-fated giant ship.
102. THE SHIP’S BOW
Two decades after the wreck of RMS Titanic was first discovered, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched a return mission for the purpose of studying the vessel’s rate of deterioration. The agency must have felt the need to go back to the wreckage and so they decided to make a huge investment for on-shore research.
This time, researchers were thrilled when they were able to take an image of Titanic’s entire bow, which still looked like a bow of an active ship. Many parts of its interior have been conserved despite its declining state caused by the impact of its descent to the seafloor and its exposure to water for a very long time.
103. FIRST CLASS PASSENGERS LIST
The list of passengers in the first-class category was short and few, mostly belonging to the ultra-wealthy Astor and Allison families who tagged along their maids, nurses and manservants. Also included in the list were the highest-ranking officers and crew members of the iconic seacraft. It didn’t have to take a Finance Degree to assess the high expense for first-class accommodation, that’s why it was limited to a selected few, totaling only to 325 out of the 2,229 passengers on board including ship officers and crew members.
The first-class passengers composed of 175 men, 144 women and 6 children. Survivors were 57 men, 140 women and 5 children.
104. FAMILIES OF THE SURVIVORS
After news regarding the disaster broke out, families, relatives and friends of the ill-fated ship’s passengers gathered at Pier 54 in New York and waited for the arrival of Carpathia, the seacraft which served as Titanic’s rescue ship because of the heroic actions of Captain Arthur Rostron, the ship commander.
The worried families and loved ones gave so much credit and gratitude to Captain Rostron because without his thoughtful instructions, crew members of Carpathia wouldn’t have known about the tragedy and therefore wouldn’t have been able to save the 706 people who lived to tell the story of Titanic and share what they learned from the experience.